Some press events feel more like a celebration of fashion than just a work event. The Felicities press day took place at the Hoxton Factory – it’s a new photographic studio and the home of Random Magazine in London’s east end. The event was a success – delicious Salto lemon cocktails, Label M manicures in super bright colours (I tried Kiwi) and Shea butter hand massages!
At press days you have the opportunity to see the designer’s whole collection for the upcoming season and the best part about this event was that you got to meet all the designers and they were able to tell you about their collection!
Some of my favourite designers like Alice Palmer (above) and Stefán Orschel-Read were there!
One of my favourite models, Leo (on the left) with designer Stefán Orschel-Read.
Me wearing Alice Palmer and her fabulous studded tights!
This is a ‘Barbie’ cake wearing a yummy dress by Jacob Kimmie in collaboration with Molly Bakes. There were loads of mini cupcakes, which seemed to disappear quickly, but the cocktails kept flowing!!!
Recently I discovered a new drink product that has taken the USA by storm – MonaVie. I was turned on to this wonder beverage in by fitness expert and New York City personal trainer Matt Townsend.
This superfood-packed beverage contains the Acai berry from Brazil and 18 other beneficial fruits. 4 ounces of this drink is like having 13 servings of fruit and vegetables. Besides all the obvious health benefits, a big result has been terrific looking skin. Now that was something this makeup artist had to put to the test! Matt suggested I drink a shot glass sized amount every morning for 30 days. The results were pretty astounding. My complexion was clear and my skin beamed bright. I love beauty products that work from the inside out. It even comes in a very fashion friendly wine shaped bottle. During last NY fashion week, I found MonaVie mixed cocktails at some of the parties… I’m not really sure you can consider it a superfood when you mix it with vodka but it sure did make a super cocktail. Also for a backstage boost MonaVie do an energy drink, which doesn’t make you crash and burn like caffeine. They have been very handy for me to have in my makeup kit when working crazy hours to give me some much needed stamina.
I met Rebecca Pearson a few weeks back on a shoot and she was so fun to work with. She just made modeling look easy. A good model is not just a pretty face – of course she will have a pretty face but a good model really makes the clothes live, and she knows how to work it!
How did you become a model?
I’m afraid there’s no fascinating or unique story here…..I was scouted outside Topshop in Oxford Circus at 16, a la every English model who wasn’t scouted at the Clothes Show!
What do you think is the biggest preconception that people have about the modeling industry?
Wow, there are so many! I’d say the biggest though, is that it’s a shallow, vacuous and bitchy world. Really, I’ve met some of the warmest, most creative and interesting people who passionately care about what they do.
I might also note that most models are usually studying or doing something on the side…..they’re often very independent and savvy, not braindead bimbos. I’m pretty sure a lot of my friends couldn’t cope with being thrown into a foreign city, with a list of 10 obscure places to find for castings as you figure out different public transport in a day, whilst being shouted at by your agency for being late/having another casting/having to make it to a job in ten minutes on the other side of town, as well as sharing a room with 5 new strangers you might not even like, and being presentable and friendly at all times…..probably starving hungry….and in high heels!
Is the industry different than you expected?
No, I didn’t have those preconceptions really, I went into it looking forward to an exciting and interesting, (though ultimately short-lived), experience! Now most people and family members tell me when I started that they were frightened I’d turn into a wanker. I’d like to think this hasn’t happened….
What is the most go sees / castings you’ve done in a day?
Ooooh, I think 12 in a day, in Paris. It is easier there though, as it’s so small and most places are a maximum ten minute walk from the Metro. Paris is beautiful.
Have you travelled a lot as a model? What cities have you lived in?
I’ve lived in Paris, Tokyo and Athens, but travelled on trips to some far flung places…..Cuba, India, The Caribbean, Switzerland and Italy, to name but a few….however, the BEST trip I ever did was 4 days in Wales, staying in a beach hut with 8 other people! It was for the book Freedom in Flashes, by Diane Scheunemann.
In 2008 you were the MC for the SuperSuper show. How have you been involved in the magazine?
I went out with a guy called Tom, from Trash Fashion (you may know their seminal hit ‘It’s a Rave Dave’!!! I met Namalee through him, and massively got on with her……she said she wanted me for the cover (where I was dressed as a monster chav!) and got me to write a column, Diary of a SuperSuperModel. I’ve got to admit – I was at uni and not doing many shoots, so it was mainly about going out to parties, doing revision and snogging boys! I got to do some interviews too thoough, like with my friend Anita Blay (Cocknbullkid), Lady Gaga and Daisy Lowe.
What type of music do you like? Any Favourites?
I don’t want to be cliche and say ‘eclectic’….but…..! Well, I love 60s music, like The Velvet Underground. I loooove Patti Smith, who I recently met on her book signing for Just Kids (read it!). My housemate Gwil is from the Golden SIlvers, so I rate them obviously, and I’ve been getting him to teach me more about hip hop. And lately I well love folk music – Matty Groves by Fairport Convention is a fave, because I remember my mum singing it to me. I sort of remember finding the song scary and a bit sexy? I was very young. It’s about Lord Donal walking in on his wife in bed with Matty and killing them.
Do you look more like your mum or your dad?
I’d say my mum for the eyes, chubby cheeks and colouring (she’s Anglo-Indian), but I’ve definitely got my dad’s strong nose and height! People get shy about having big noses but I think that’s silly! Us Pearsons are all tall, slim, shiny of face and big of nose.
What is your favourite coffee shop?
Spiral Cafe in Camden….I don’t like coffee but they do well yummy vegan food (though I am omnivore) and I like watching the variety of crusties/cyberpunks/Spanish tourists/Camden oddbods wander in. Actually Miss Dynamite was in there the other day! I like buying their cakes and pretending to myself they’re healthier.
To view Rebecca’s portolio at First Model Management click here.
I love manicures but I find that they rarely last. I’m quite rough on my hands as I’m constantly dragging suitcases, hanging up clothes and working with fabrics. I had a manicure five days ago using this lovely racing car green by Ciaté and it hasn’t chipped or smugged – t still looks perfect! I did use a cuticle oil every night as my cuticles and hands are very dry and that might have helped but still, usually after two days my nails look like crap.
Ciaté also has a chocolate smelling nail polish remover. It’s odd because you do expect nail polish remover to smell like nail polish remover but it really does smell like chocolate!
So many yummy colours! Also the bottle is curved so it’s easy to hold in your hand while you paint your nails.
I was visiting the Arcadia Press Day and couldn’t help but love the DP section. It’s not a shop that I’d find myself wandering into on a weekly basis – although I couldn’t help thinking of a very fashionable friend of mine – whenever I ask her where that amazing dress came from she nonchalantly replies DP.
The focus was on two main trends – the Military look and the Wild look. The Military look is an updated version of the classic look, based on military neutral colours. The Wild Look is my favourite, knits, feathers and layers of faux furs.
What interested me most at the press event was the overall look and feel of the exhibit. If one didn’t look closely at the rails you’d still have a very strong feeling of the direction of collection. The lighting and layout help create this mood – but it was all about the mannequins. I loved the mannequins, with their crimped hair and animal masks. The mannequin is the starting point. It suggests the look and feel right away and then one can build the styling from there. The posture or the stance gives us an impression, as does the makeup – if you’ve got the wrong mannequin you have such a weak starting point and it becomes almost impossible to make a good still life story. Choosing the right mannequins can make all the difference!!
ABC and Fox television banned this Lane Bryant lingerie commercial for the plus-size women. What’s strange is that both networks run Victoria’s Secretads, so why wouldn’t they run ads with a plus size model?
Lane Bryant has been around a long time, and this is not the first time that the company has been controversial. In 1911 pregnancy was something that not discussed in the media and Lane Bryant convinced the New York Herald to accept an ad for maternity wear. The day after the ad ran the shop’s entire stock was sold out! A few years later Lane Bryant started to make clothes for "stout" women.
Ashley Graham, a UK size 18, 38D, is the model in the Lane Bryant commercial. Maybe all this controversy means is that she’s sexier than a Victoria Secret model.
Kate Nash is amazing – the concert went from an absolute hurricane (she knows how to rock!) to so quiet you could hear a pin drop when she asked the audience to be quiet for a sweet, gentle rendition of "I Hate Seagulls," from her new album My Best Friend Is You, which just came out this week. I was also amazed to note that even though it just came out all her loyal fans standing around me knew every word! The Village Underground is an intimate venue and so was Kate’s performance.
Isabella Oliver is one of my favourite websites and they have just been awarded A Queen’s Award – which is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a UK company.
Founders Baukjen De Swaan Arons and Geoff van Sonsbeeck are delighted: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the Queen’s award. It is a fantastic recognition of the hard work everyone at Isabella Oliver puts in. In these challenging times, we are proud to be able to employ many people who help us realise our dreams for the company both in Great Britain as well as abroad. International trade has become an increasingly important part of our business and the Queen’s Award will help us give confidence to our customers, suppliers and employees and hopefully enable us to achieve our future growth plans.”
We are constantly being reminded to use it but most of us don’t really know what it means. SPF is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. So if a suntan lotion is SPF30, your skin will not burn until it has been exposed to 30-times the amount of solar energy that would usually cause the skin to burn… not 30 minutes until you need to add more sun cream which believe it or not is often a common sun lotion misconception.
Today SPF is found in a lot foundations, but I’d suggest using a touch of a separate sun cream first like Paula’s Choice SPF 30 underneath foundation or tinted moisturisers, especially during the sunnier months for full effectiveness. Sun cream with high SPF factor is very important to have in my makeup kit for an outdoor shoot. I remember one shoot in particular, where we spent the entire day in a lavender field up in Norfolk in August. We were shooting in a set up in one direction and some of the crew that didn’t wear any SPF were sun burnt on half of their faces! Luckily, I made sure my model had a good layer of SPF under the makeup and she was ok.
When I was a kid in the 1980s I used to love the Ban De Soleil commercials. A beautiful exotic woman wore a bathing cap and a full piece bathing suit would elegantly tan herself by the side of a pool. A true 80′s icon for any kid craving a touch of Mediterranean Sun cream glamour! I still love Ban de Solei Sun cream. It smells like tropical vacations…
I’ve always loved the Easter Egg hunt. As a child you’re almost guaranteed to find a certain number of yummy chocolate eggs and now Jimmy Choo is having a trainer hunt!
They’ll be hidden in all sorts of fashionable places from the Saatchi Gallery to Shoreditch House – you’ll be given an update in real time on the trainers whereabouts but to win you need to be in the right place at the right time. The winner is the first person to identify the trainers in a location that Jimmy Choo has announced on one of its sites. Then the winner has to find the Jimmy Choo representative holding the trainers and say "I’ve been following you" (which might be a bit weird but worth it for a free pair of shoes!)
There’s no start date for the Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt but it’s anytime soon, so you just have to keep checking their sites for updates!
I met Lauretta Roberts while she was the editor of Drapers. She’s friendly, smart, knowledgeable and loads of fun, everything you expect a true fashionista to be! Since I met Lauretta she relaunched Drapers and now she’s doing the same at WGSN. It takes a person with tremendous vision and knowledge to create a successful relaunch and I really wanted to know how she does it.
What was your first fashion job?
Ooh, technically I guess it was when I was a sales assistant at Next in Covent Garden in the early nineties. I did it to fund my masters degree (I studied languages). I worked on menswear and I really enjoyed it. I learned how to do made to measure and I was particularly good at selling shoes; I always managed to talk men into buying a better pair. They’d always start looking at the ones with the synthetic sole and leave with a pair of handstitched leather ones. I never set out to work in fashion specifically though, much though I loved it, I wanted to be a journalist and I eventually came into fashion via that route. You’re Digital Development Director at WGSN, what do you do on a daily basis?
Right now, it’s a lot of meetings, which is not normal! We’re on the cusp of relaunching the site and so am spending a lot of time with our technology integrators and editors to check on progress. It’s very intense. Going forward it is my job to help identify and implement new features and services that WGSN can offer – that involves a lot of talking to customers and the many specialists we have here – and I already have a list as long as my arm for things to do after the launch of the new site. It’s not all necessarily site related; in parallel to our relaunch project I am working on the establishment of our first Global Fashion Awards, which take place in November in New York. That’s pretty exciting! I love doing events.
With so much free information on the web about trends why are trend companies like WGSN relevant?
I get asked this a lot and I understand why, but there is simply nothing that you can get online for free that compares to WGSN. We have hundreds of industry experts feeding into our site (most free sites or blogs are just the view of one person, who may well be very credible, but they are just one person). Our specialists have industry expertise and experience in everything from colour to knitwear to lingerie, as well as denim, textiles, kidswear, menswear, womenswear, retail strategy, visual merchandising; everything really!
These specialists are predicting consumer, retail and fashion trends up to five years out. Many of the trends you see on the catwalks and at trade shows have already been called by WGSN, so if you’re waiting for the catwalks to see what’s going on then you’re already behind the curve.
Plus, we’re a global force, we have contributors in dozens of countries scanning the stores, streets and scenes for inspiration and information. Even if you argued that you could get some of that information elsewhere (such as catwalks for instance), our analysis of it comes from the eye of an expert who has worked in the industry and has had to translate that kind of information into a saleable and desirable product, so you can really trust their view.
And I haven’t even got started on the thousands of downloadable CADs, prints, graphics, palettes, brushes and fills. Our motto is inspiration, insight and action. We show people what is going to happen, explain what it will mean for them and then give them the tools to do something about it.
You just can’t get all that for free online no matter how many hundreds of sites you visit.
You were editor in chief at Haymarket for 10 years. What does an editor in chief do?
Yes, I was. I was looking after a group of titles for the print media market and I loved it. I had editors report in to me and my role was to focus on ensuring the quality of content across all channels but also developing new opportunities. I worked on launches and relaunches and we licensed some of our brands internationally. That was what the role meant for me and am not sure if that’s typical of all editors in chief, as some of them are only focused on one title.
I was really happy at Haymarket – it’s a lovely business – but then the headhunters for Emap and Drapers came calling. Combining my twin passions for media and fashion was a prospect that was difficult to resist. As an editor in chief what was your biggest challenge?
Same as it is now really. Too much to do, not enough time in the day. I’ve somehow always had jobs that have involved juggling lots of different things and it’s hard to sustain the pace, but I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d be bored!
In 2007 along with its website www.drapersonline.com you relaunched Drapers and created the Drapers Etail Awards. What was the most interesting aspect of your work? You can see a theme there can’t you? Launches and relaunches, plus the online aspect of fashion has always held a great deal of fascination for me so I’ve been lucky in having been able to launch products in that space. WGSN relaunch will be the biggest by far. I just like to do create new things or rejuvenate existing products – it’s exciting and challenging and it’s always a collaboration between different groups of people and that’s very rewarding.
What is your favourite shop?
That is hard because I have many for different reasons (I’ve just started to blog about them at shopsnoop247.blogspot.com, but I need to spend more time on it as it’s very early days).
When it comes to who gets most of my money I would have to say My-wardrobe.com; it just speaks to me in terms of aesthetic and price point, and I can shop from my desk, which I often do when I’m having a tough day! Or, indeed when am having a good day or mediocre day…!
If I had more money I’d spend it in Matches. I lived in Wimbledon for 10 years, where the original store is, and I watched it go from being a nice local boutique to a fashion powerhouse with an international reputation. And I just love Tom and Ruth Chapman; they are so energetic, innovative and customer focused.
I’m a big department store fan too and I get a surge of excitement when I go into a good one; I love Selfridges and Fenwick and I really wish someone would pick up Printemps and put it in London. Am nothing short of obsessed with French brands; always have been a total francophile.
Ice cream has always been my weakness and one of the things that every tourist should experience is the "99" – a Cadbury Flake bar in a soft ice cream cone.
In 1930, Cadbury started producing a smaller version of the standard Flake bar especially for ice cream cones. No one is really sure why it’s called the "99" as it was never 99p or 99mm long. Some people say it was because King of Italy had an elite guard of 99 soldiers and 99 came to mean special or first class.
I took this photo near the Tate Modern and lots of people were eating "99′s"!
Fred Perry have collaborated on their "Blank Canvas” range with the iconic Liberty. The range includes four classic Fred Perry pieces using two of Liberty’s timeless prints; “Mark” (paisley) and “Edenham” (floral). For the more subtle look you can see glimpses of the Liberty’s print stylishly hidden inside collars and plackets. Love the “Edenham” polo shirt.
It’s easy to see why music artists like Fred Perry. It was initially adopted by Mods in 1959 and Fred Perry continues to support music artists through its site Fred Perry SubCulture.
Fred Perry (18 May 1909 – 2 February 1995) was an English tennis and table tennis player and three-time Wimbledon champion. He was the World No. 1 player for five years in a row and was one of the leading bachelors of the 1930s!
Britney Spears released her unairbrushed photos alongside the final images for her Candies for Kohl’s campaign. No one can argue that Britney doesn’t look good in the before photo – she’s got a good body, a cute face and great hair. They even removed the hint of camel toe! We all have little imperfections (and probably way more than Britney) but do we really need to see them in campaigns?
Spotted Susie Bubble attending press days on Dover Street in London. Over the next few weeks fashion PRs host their press days. It’s often the only opportunity to see a designer’s entire collection up close. You might have attended a designer’s show or seen some of the looks on Vogue but it’s important to have a really close look at the fabrics and details. Many stylists do their ‘call in’ on these days for their upcoming shoots.
Who’s on the next cover for Fashion.Music.Style? Could it be Riley the dog? No, but she might end up in the shoot with a music artist!
It’s always surprising how many dresses you need in order to find just the right look for a shoot. The more choice you have the better, but if it’s not on brief it’s not worth bringing it to the shoot!
I love having lots of accessories, they really personalize and make a look.
My assistants are constantly steaming clothes or running all over London picking up cool clothes!
I love getting my nails done but it’s hard to find a good nail technician. Teresa Smith has been in the business for over 10 years – when she worked at Harrods she had a four week waiting list! She’s worked with numerous celebrities including Bella Freud, Florence Welch, Rihanna and Victoria Beckham, and she’s also won a number of awards including Nail Professional of the Year 2009. Teresa shares a few insider secrets with us!
Any insider tips for looking after our nails and hands?
Get regular manicures!
Even just a shape and paint every fortnight can make a difference. Having a great polish is by far the best way to keep your nails healthy as you’re less likely to ruin a perfect polish by using your nails as tools – picking sellotape and pulling out staples, even pinching awkward bracelet clasps are often common causes of nails splitting and peeling from the free edge.
Avoid having a long soak in the bath the same day your nails are done, as this can cause the polish to chip.
Re-apply top coat (and seal the edges) on painted nails every few days to prolong the life of your polish.
It’s a common myth is that nails need to “breathe.” This not the case as they are simply dead keratin cells that are best kept coated with a quality base coat and polish.
At the very least always keep a nail file in your hand bag in case of emergencies. Also, use a good quality hand cream – even A-list celebs reveal their age with their hands but regular use of hand cream can delay the aging process by 10 years!
What shows did you do the nails for at London Fashion Week?
This season I did 5 shows: Charlie Le Mindu, Peter Pilotto, Amanda Wakeley, Emilio De La Morena and Pringle of Scotland.
What colours should we be wearing now?
Nail colours are so varied and fun right now, anything from rainbow brights such as blues and greens to opaque pastels; my personal favourite is ‘Van D’Go’ from Essie’s Art of Spring Collection, a gorgeous opaque honey melon. Greige is also a great look right now – I used Essie’s Chinchilly on 3 of my 5 shows at London Fashion Week. Essie also have a more sandy version called ‘Playa Del Platinum’ coming out in their new Resort Collection, to be released in May.
What colours should we be expecting for A/W2010?
For A/W2010 metallics are set to be big following the celeb favourite Minx nail coatings – Chanel recently showed a molten metal looking silver polish on the runway. Orly have just released a fab Foil FX collection which has Gold Silver and an unusual Rose Gold, also Dior have just released a purple toned silver called Silver Pearl. Also look out for deep ‘hunter greens’ such as ‘Wandering Vine’ by Orly, and ‘Cedar Green’ by Mavala as an autumnal take on the current green trend.